Government shuts down Carolina bus company

June 1, 2011 at 11:00 AM

WASHINGTON, June 1 (UPI) -- The U.S. Transportation Department has shut down a North Carolina bus company that amassed one of the worst safety records in the United States, officials said.

The action against Sky Express of Charlotte came hours after one of the company's tour buses ran off Interstate 95 in Virginia Tuesday and rolled onto its roof, killing four people and injuring 54 others, USA Today reported.

Records of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration indicate Sky Express has repeatedly violated federal safety rules that require bus companies to keep tired drivers from getting behind the wheel.

It also has violated rules that drivers must have proper licenses, medical certificates and English-language skills.

"Why did they allow a company with a safety record this egregious to continue to be on the road?" asked Peter Pantuso, head of the American Bus Association, a trade group.

Virginia State Police have blamed Tuesday's crash on driver fatigue.

The bus was carrying 58 passengers from Greensboro, N.C., to New York City's Chinatown when it ran off Interstate 95 near Richmond.

Bus driver Kin Yiu Cheung, 37, of New York City has been charged with reckless driving.

He suffered minor injuries in the accident and was being held at a local Virginia jail.

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